LOS ANGELES — Dylan George, the premium denim brand founded last year by Danny Guez, is looking to ignite growth with the addition of executive talent and the relaunch of its men’s business.
Rick Spielberg joined Los Angeles-based Dylan George in October after a four-year run with Hudson, where he helped grow revenue from $9 million to $60 million as vice president. Before Hudson, Spielberg was president of Blue Holdings, which was founded by Guez’s father, Paul, and where Danny met Spielberg before the younger Guez left to launch People’s Liberation in 2004. At City of Commerce, Calif.-based Blue Holdings, Spielberg oversaw the denim brands Antik Denim and Taverniti So for two years.
Spielberg’s departure from Hudson came after Fireman Capital Partners and Webster Capital acquired a majority stake in the denim firm last March for about $33 million.
“I prefer to work with an emerging company,” Spielberg said. “There are a lot of premium denim companies that want to break out as the next brand. But they lack infrastructure.”
One of Spielberg’s first steps is to install an infrastructure solidifying customer service, marketing, planning and production.
“Dylan George has an excellent fashion business working at retail,” he said. “We’re going to add fashion core basics.”
Approximately 60 percent of the products Dylan George ships are fashion items such as denim leggings and pants made of ponte. Spielberg intends to lower the ratio of fashion pieces to 40 percent next year, then to 20 percent in 2011, with basics constituting the remainder. The basics will wholesale from $65 to $75, while fashion denim will cost between $82 and $90. The goal is to generate revenue of more than $60 million in 2013, he said.
“You want to rely on basics,” Spielberg said. “That’s how you sustain yourself and your cash flow.”
For his part, Guez said he wanted someone to help him grow his company, which has annual sales of less than $10 million through retail accounts including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue in Mexico and 200 specialty stores such as Stanley Korshak.
“Running a company without someone to bounce things off of is difficult,” said Guez. “You really want a partner in crime to have been where you want to be and get there.”
Guez updated the women’s boot cut and flare for the holiday season as a step to setting the brand’s new direction. Wholesaling for $75, the new boot cut has a 17-inch leg opening, compared with the standard 18-inch opening. The flare, which wholesales for $84, features a trouser-style front with a rounded yoke and 20-inch leg opening. The spring collection will highlight new hardware and labeling, and an ad campaign is in the works for late next year.
The label is also gearing up for the relaunch of its men’s business in January under the direction of Jason Ferro, a Guess Inc. and Levi’s veteran who founded his own premium jeans label called Bread Denim, and Jason Briggs, who worked with Ferro at Bread. Dylan George unveiled its men’s line in fall 2008 and put it on hiatus this year to focus on its larger women’s business. With Ferro and Briggs on board full-time, Dylan George revamped the fit of the line’s slim straight, relaxed straight, slim boot and relaxed boot styles. New design elements include a straight leg with a black wax coating and twisted side belt loops as well as a destroyed wash accentuated with patches and potassium splatters.
The men’s spring collection has been ordered by Bloomingdale’s, National Jean Co., E Street Denim, Harvey Nichols and Harrods. Wholesale prices run between $68 and $86. Guez said he aims to grow sales of the men’s line to $10 million by the end of 2011.
“When you launch a brand, you’re going to see two to three lives,” Guez said. “I’m on my second life right now. When you first start, you have to figure out who your stores and who your customers are.…Now is the time to show newness. The stores and the consumers are ready for that.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast